The ANC's "economic mismanagement and bad policy" are to blame for South Africa’s economic woes‚ according to the DA.
Party leader Mmusi Maimane made these comments at a media briefing on Monday‚ following last week’s announcement that South Africa had slid into a technical recession.
Maimane criticised the ANC‚ saying the recession was not a result of global economic conditions but was home grown.
He said the rising cost of living‚ as seen in petrol price increases‚ the VAT increase‚ sugar tax and income tax was money demanded by an inefficient‚ corrupt and captured state‚ and was not spent on productive investment.
The official opposition believed scrapping the ANC's economic policies‚ which it claimed were eroding investor confidence‚ such as the proposed nationalisation of the SA Reserve Bank and expropriation of land without compensation‚ could be among the interventions needed to get the economy growing. The DA also wants the privatisation‚ or part privatisation‚ of state-owned enterprises like South African Airways and the split of Eskom into separate power‚ production and distribution businesses.
“These SOEs pose an existential financial risk to our country. They are bottomless pits into which billions of rands of public money is poured never to be seen again‚ on top of the higher prices the public must pay for often-shoddy services. Privatising‚ or part-privatising our SOEs would introduce competition in key industries like power production and transport. This will very quickly reduce the cost of these goods‚ which alone will be a major growth boost to our economy‚” he explained.
The DA also believed that cutting the size of the cabinet to around 15 ministries would bring much needed relief to government spending.
Maimane said a healthy‚ growing economy would be able to collect the taxes required to fund better education and healthcare systems‚ a compassionate welfare programme‚ effective land reform and restitution programmes‚ and an effective police service‚ trained‚ resourced and equipped to be able to maintain law and order and keep people safe.
“Without growth‚ revenues slide and none of this is possible. Jobs disappear‚ investors flee‚ poverty grows. It is then that the soil is most fertile for the simplistic promises of populist demagogues.
“That is why we cannot afford to let this recession persist. We must take these bold steps now to get South Africa growing again‚” he added.